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Tips for Opposition


Some of the greatest battles between mom and child are about food.  "Just try it."  "Eat one more bite."  "Not until you've finished your supper."  There are children who will try anything and others who require bribery.  We often worry if they are eating enough or getting the proper nutrition.  Sometimes, we frankly get tired of the battle and we give in to their terrorist demands for mac-n-cheese and chicken nuggets.  We buy the high fructose, cotton candy yogurt because at least it's yogurt.

So if you would like to add healthy foods to your child's diet but are anticipating resistance here are some tips:

  • Try to shape and not control.  Don't make it into a battle of wills and let go of any expectations.  Allow, plant seeds, and give them opportunities to eat better.  

  • Model healthy eating habits.  

  • Provide them with nutrient dense foods and have it available to graze. Keep a bowl of grapes, carrots, or blueberries out on the counter.

  • Replace one junk food at a time.  It would be extremely overwhelming to do it all at once, so take it in steps.  

  • Introduce foods when they are hungry.

  • Keep introducing the food.  Studies show that repeated exposure, 8-12 times, to new food will lead them to accept it.  

  • Hide it in other foods, of course.

  • Introduce when a group of friends are over.  My son was always more inclined to try a new food when faced with a little peer pressure.  

  • Cook with your child.  This is a great way for your child to become invested in the outcome and will want to try his creation.  

  • Try a deal.  Some families have a two bite deal and after two bites they can decline and try it again another time.  

  • Make it fun, don't stress!!

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